I bought this car used back in 2008, with about 33k miles on it. Now it is 2016 and only at 119k. Was mostly for college and getting to all my jobs during that time. Now I am out of college, with a good paying job, and I could buy a new or used car that is up to date and shiny, but the Neon is still going. I have never had to repair a single thing motor/engine wise except for the timing belt (obvious maintenance) which I made sure to do around 90k or a little earlier (not sure exactly when). My car has even been hit by drunk drivers and many idiots and yet still holds strong after body repair. The only issues I have had was the sunroof and leaking. It went off the track and broke. Instead of getting it fixed, I just had a body shop place the roof back in and remove the fuse that allowed it to open and close. It leaks around the sunroof, and weirdly around the passenger side area where the feet go. I think its just blocked up and moves into the floor. Besides its lack of physical beauty at this age in the game, it has done me very well and I will drive this car until the wheels fall off. :}
Overall this car has served me well. I bought it brand new back in highschool ,in 2004 for 11k that's including taxes. When I first got it the O2 sensor needed to be replace which isn't a good sign around 20k. Luckily it was still under warranty. Since then there has been no major issues until now but right now at 220k its expected. At the moment, the reverse cable probably has to be replaced or at least one of the pins or bushing. The drive shaft also needs to be replaced which is normal for the a vehicle with the amount of mileage this car has. Both issues occurred around 219-220k. I had to replace the CAM sensor at 110k and oil switch at 185k. Changed the battery twice .Other than that no major issues. I have drove this car from -CA-TX-MT and CA-FL with no problems. I hit a deer at 40mph with only hood, fender, bumper damage, but nothing was damaged under the hood. The car gets good MPG on the highway but not too good mpg for its class in the city. I usually get between 35-44 on the highway and 25-29 in the city. Since its high mileage the values have been 25/35 unless I go on a long distance trip. The interior looks good the only thing a bit worn out is the arm rest and front driver seat.Acceleration and handling is also good and I do like the tow capacity this vehicle has. Overall I got my moneys worth but at this point its time to move on.
the car was great, until 100K miles. It first started as slightly rough idle, and then it got worse. I had it check and it was determined that a valve was leaking and therefore it would misfire. It failed the wet compression test and the computer code backed the mechanic's claim. Miss fire cylinder # 2. The repairs would cost me 1.5K on a 3K car, it was not worth it so I traded the car still owning like 2K, I got 800 for it in the trade it since it was broken, the check engine light would flash during idle so there was no hiding it. The car was fun to drive and very very practical, gas mileage was about 28 hwy and 23 city. It could be a lot better for an engine that small.
I bought my Neon from the original owner thru Ebay in 2005 paid $8400.00 - drove it from Phoenix AZ to Dallas , Tx. it had 18K original miles. As of today 01/10/2012 it has 74K - repairs consist of new wheel cylinders and brakes front and rear and a crank sensor. I put a K&N air filter in it and have had the transmission and coolant serviced on the factory schedule. I use Pirelli tires and I always run middle grade gas. Most of the miles are hiway @ 34-36 mpg. It handles like a small Porsche and has plenty of zip. My only complaint is the seating - not terribly comfortable. It has been a truly wonderful car and an excellent investment.
I bought the '04 SE base new as a "leftover" in 2005 for $11,200. Although i had good credit the dealer told me it wasn't good enough (720) and charged me 2 extra points at the very end of the deal. I had already sold my old car so i needed it. After i figured how much money they screwed me for i vowed never to visit the dealer again. Guess what? I didn't have to! Now it is July 2016 and the Neon has 209K miles on it and has only broken down once. The nylon clip that holds the shifter to the cable under the boot fell off or broke. The repair was $125 total including $65 for towing. I have kept up with all the maintenance (timing belts, fluid changes, strut changes,etc.) and i would take the car on a 5,000 mile round trip tomorrow if i needed to. I am 6 foot 4 tall and age 56. The car is comfortable to drive and sit in for long drives. I love the manual transmission as i consider myself a spirited driver and 2nd and 3rd gear pull really good although i don't have a tachometer. Although i live in the south i have driven in deep snow in NH and good quality tires help. The only recommendation i can make is to change the coolant every 2 years vs. 5. I think i replaced an o2 sensor and a knock sensor in 2012. The a/c works great although summer mpg's are about 25 and winter is 30 or 32. Book value now is about $1000 but i couldn't buy one this well maintained for the price. I will say if mine gets totaled for any reason i would probably buy another one. New car prices are ridiculous and i don't ever want to finance a car again. I will keep it until the wheels fall off. Even if the motor blows i might just buy another motor. I still see a few 1st generation Neon's driving around; how many miles are on them?